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$450 in resort fees? You’ve gotta be kidding!
We in the B&B industry are particularly sensitive to stories about exorbitant resort fees, rubbery breakfast buffets for $25 per person, and of course the infamous $10 mini bar water. That’s why this story revealed by travel ombudsman, Christopher Elliott on Frommers.com caught our eye. As Elliott explained, Timothy Williams visited Las Vegas and stayed in a hotel for 27 days while he closed on a home there. Williams booked a room at the Palace Station Courtyard, which like a lot of Las Vegas resorts has a mandatory resort fee covering amenities not included in the regular room rate. In this case, the Palace’s resort fee was $14.99 per night. “So I’ve already paid $800 for the 27 days,” William said in the story. “Now with the resort fees tacked on, I’m going to have to pay another $450 in resort fees.”
According to the story, Williams booked his stay on Hotwire.com which offers discounts on accommodations but doesn’t reveal the hotel where you’re booked until you’ve made a nonrefundable purchase. The story went on to reveal that resort fees are grey areas for sites like Hotwire and Priceline, which also don’t reveal the name of property until you’ve paid for it. Say’s Elliott, “While it’s an industry-wide practice to exclude the mandatory resort fee (which shouldn’t be happening, anyway) these so-called “opaque” sites add another layer of confusion, because you don’t know exactly where you’re booking a room. And the sites can’t, or won’t, tell you what the exact resort fee will be.”
Set aside the issue of booking an unknown hotel with unknown added fees on a third party site, making among other things cancellations impossible, the issue of resort fees is something you simply won’t find at inns and B&Bs. Often levied for services like safes in the room or towel service in the fitness center you won’t use, resort fees are usually tack-ons to increase the bottom line for the hotel. In the case of Williams, the rate he paid for the room in Las Vegas was $26 per night. Of course there had to be add-on fees; when hotels lower rates to rock bottom, beware. Hidden fees are bound to be there. And the old adage goes, if it looks too good to be true, it is!
Choose an inn or B&B and not only will breakfast be included, but so will free wi-fi (research shows that 96% of inns and B&Bs now offer complimentary wi-fi), and chances are you’ll be treated to complimentary hot and/or cold drinks and refreshments available throughout the day and night. Resort fees? Not in the Better Way To Stay vocabulary. Best of all, if you call to book, you will be talking to an innkeeper or owner who will be happy to answer all questions about fees, cancellations and by the way can also probably get you a table his or her recommended restaurant in town.
Don’t succumb to tricky travel. Say no to blind reservations where the hotel and the room type are only revealed AFTER your credit card is booked. Your vacations are too important. Choose the better way to stay and get the whole picture for your vacation upfront. Heck, we’ll even tell you if you’ll find lots of doilies or no doilies at our inns.
If you liked this article, you might find these stories on the Better Way To Stay blog interesting too.
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